A 53-year-old Lannon man is facing charges after he allegedly made up two false stories for Menomonee Falls police officers while they were investigating a burglary at an area tavern.
Mark S. Zyla was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday with two counts of obstructing an officer. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On April 13, police were called to a burglary at after it was discovered someone pried open a deadbolt to get into the bar and pried open two video poker machines and a Juke Box. Although the machines were open, no one had taken the money inside, but the damage was estimated at $450.
A Falls police officer spotted Zyla’s car in the area during the approximate time of the burglary, so he pulled him over. Zyla said he had driven a friend from his father’s house to a home near North 64th Street and Silver Spring Road after picking the friend up in Sussex, then going to Whiskey Corners to drink, then leaving at 1 a.m. to sleep at his father’s.
Early in the morning, Zyla said his friend was gone, so he got his car and went looking for him. He said he found him and then took him to a friend’s home.
When asked why the officer didn’t see anyone else in the car at the time of the burglary, Zyla said his friend was sick and lying back in his seat.
Officers contacted Zyla again to ask him to tell his account of the night again, but the story changed with Zyla saying he had been drinking by himself, then stopping in the middle to say he was with his friend.
Officers contacted Zyla’s friend a week later, who said Zyla had called him while either drunk or high on April 13 and gave a rambling panicked talk about how he agreed to follow the police back to the station and give an interview because he had drugs in his car and he didn’t want them to find them.
The friend also told police he was at Potawatomi Bingo Casino the night of the burglary and not with Zyla. Officers checked security footage from the casino, which proved the man’s story.
Zyla will make his initial appearance in court Aug. 13.